As a guy who is about to get it on with a new partner, there is a time when you feel anxious before sex. Has it ever happened to you? It is common for men to feel nervous, anxious or uncomfortable before and during sexual activity. It is a common problem that’s known as sexual performance anxiety which affects men of all ages. Performance anxiety when it strikes it can result in premature ejaculation to erectile dysfunction. It’s a common issue with a variety of solutions, from guided imagery and other anxiety reduction techniques to medication.
In this article, we’ll go into more detail about what performance anxiety is, how it happens and what you can do to prevent it from affecting your sexual performance. Read on to learn more
What is Sexual Performance Anxiety?
Sexual performance anxiety is a feeling of nervousness and anxiety before and during sex. It’s extremely common, affecting men of all ages and backgrounds. It can occur for a wide range of different reasons, including:
- Concern about sexual performance (for example, worrying that you may not fully satisfy your partner).
- Body image issues, such as concern over your weight, height or penis size.
- Stress about erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation and other conditions that can affect sexual satisfaction.
- Relationship issues, such as a lack of emotional connection or dissatisfaction with your relationship.
- Other sources of stress, such as difficulties regarding work, relationships, family or other non-sexual aspects of your life.
- Nervousness about sexual activity in general
When you experience these feelings, your body might release increased amounts of powerful stress hormones such as adrenaline, making it more difficult for you to relax and enjoy sexual activity.
For many men, this can lead to erectile dysfunction, making sexual activity more difficult and less satisfying. Sometimes, performance anxiety worsens over time, as one bad experience creates more anxiety and stress about sexual activity.
How Performance Anxiety Happens
When you feel anxious, your body releases powerful stress hormones such as epinephrine (also called adrenaline) and norepinephrine. These hormones constrict blood vessels, reducing blood flow to parts of your body such as your penis.
This makes it much harder than normal to develop and keep an erection, affecting your ability to enjoy sex with your partner. Simply put, the psychological effects of performance anxiety lead to a physical response from your body that makes sex more difficult.
This means that even men with none of the main physical causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) can have trouble getting an erection if they feel anxious or nervous before sex.
Performance anxiety can happen before sexual activity or during sex. During sex, performance anxiety can make it more difficult to orgasm, as anxiety over your sexual performance can make it tough to concentrate on the physical and emotional sensation of sex.
Over time, performance anxiety can have a significant negative effect on an individual’s sex life, resulting in (for some people) a reduced level of interest in sexual activity.
Treatment Options for Sexual Performance Anxiety
Because performance anxiety can occur for a variety of reasons, treatment usually focuses on identifying and solving the factor or factors that caused the anxiety in the first place.
Sometimes, performance anxiety can solve itself as you become more familiar and comfortable with your sexual partner. In other cases, performance anxiety can disappear as you identify and manage sources of stress in your life.
Other treatment options for performance anxiety include counseling and sex therapy to work on intimacy and sexual performance, as well as lifestyle changes aimed at reducing your total level of stress and negative thinking.
Luckily, performance anxiety can easily be fixed. From open communication with your partner to guided imagery, relaxation exercises and ED medication, there are a range of treatment options that can help you overcome performance anxiety and enjoy a healthy sex life.
If you find yourself struggling with any sexual problems that are related to Early Ejaculation, Erectile Dysfunction, Low Libido, STI or Circumcision. Do get in touch with us to book a consultation with our professional doctors who specializes in Men’s Sexual Health.
Contact us using the following options and we will get back to you, SMS ‘Help” to 32110, Send a "please call me" to 072 315 2574 or Call us on 0860 362 867, Live Chat www.menshealth.co.za.